Medicaid is an extremely complicated yet valuable program that can provide health care services to a senior living at home, in an Assisted Living Facility, or in a Skilled Nursing Facility. We meet with many families who have tried unsuccessfully, or are in the process of applying for Medicaid, who require guidance in order to receive Medicaid approval. Due to the complexity of the application and the documentation required for an approval, many families retain us to guide them through the process.
Although a Medicaid Application processing company can prepare an application, there are limitations. These companies are specifically prohibited from providing legal advice regarding transfers of assets that are allowed by Medicaid. In addition, there are several exceptions to the general rule that an individual cannot transfer assets within five year years preceding a Medicaid Application. Medicaid processing companies are not aware of these valuable exceptions. This lack of guidance often results in financial hardship for other members of the family.
On the other hand, an Elder Law Attorney provides guidance on potential opportunities for spending down along with filing an application on the client’s behalf. To put it simply, the main goal of a processing company is to have the applicant approved for Medicaid, whereas the goals of an Elder Law Attorney are to have the applicant approved for Medicaid while saving as much money as possible using allowable legal strategies. Some examples of the benefits of working with an Elder Law Attorney are: Saving the spouse from impoverishment; providing for a disabled child; saving a home from estate recovery; or merely allowing the Medicaid recipient some extra money to provide for a better quality of life in her final years.
Our guidance takes into account the appropriate healthcare considerations for our client, combined with the financial and tax consequences. A Medicaid processing company will not have these considerations in mind when handling your loved one’s application. Who would you rather guide you during the process, a processing company with a singular focus or an Elder Law Attorney that takes a holistic approach and considers all the legal consequences involved with submitting a Medicaid Application?